Villanueva explains anti-SOGIE bill stance, says 'I love the LGBT community'

Sherrie Ann Torres, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jun 07 2023 09:39 PM


MANILA -- Sen. Joel Villanueva on Wednesday defended his opposition to the SOGIE Equality bill, saying he prefers a "more holistic and inclusive" anti-discrimination measure.

"I love the LGBT community. [I] am super close to Paul Cabral, Boy Abunda, super proud hairdresser ko si Alex Carbonell for many many years! And for some individuals and other media outlets to continue painting me as anti LGBT is more than preposterous!" Villanueva said in a statement.

Villanueva, the Senate Majority Floor Leader, earlier said SOGIE bill would not be a priority of the Senate once it resumes session next month, prompting Sen. Risa Hontiveros, the bill's author, to criticize the Senate leadership.

In the previous Congress, the SOGIE bill was handled by the Senate Committee on Women, Children, Family Relations and Gender Equality, which was chaired by Hontiveros.

But the refiled measure last February was referred to the Committee on Rules headed by Villanueva, upon the request of at least 17 senators to revert it back to the panel for further examination and discussion.

From then on, the SOGIE bill has yet to be discussed again in the chamber.

The senator acknowledge that "discrimination is pure evil" but added that measures against it should cover all sectors.

"Who wants to be discriminated? Discrimination is pure evil! So, let’s extend this right against discrimination to all sectors," he said.

"Again I sound like a broken record, but I will keep on stressing and emphasizing that I am not against giving them equal protection kaya nga pinu-push natin yung holistic and inclusive anti discrimination bill,” Villanueva pointed out.

According to Villanueva, at least seven senators have already made a stand that an anti-discrimination law if ever, should not be focused on one sector only.